‘Gajah’: The Report of the Elephant Task Force

-  Announcements, -  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

A major report on securing the future for the Elephant in India was today submitted to the Minister of Environment & Forests. The report lays out a comprehensive action agenda for protecting elephants in the wild and in captivity, and for addressing human-elephant conflict. The Minister welcomed the Report and promised speedy implementation of the major recommendations.

The Executive Summary is posted here. The full report can be downloaded from the MOEF website here.

Executive Summary

Securing a future … Read More

Bhadra River Recovering after Stoppage of Mining in Kudremukh

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

The picture of the Bhadra River on the left loaded with silt after a heavy rainstorm was taken on 30th September 2002, during an inspection by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) as ordered by the Supreme Court. The photo on the right, showing the clear waters of the Bhadra River was taken on 18th October 2010, again after a heavy rainstorm, from the same location, five years after mining was stopped by the Apex Court based on a petition filed … Read More

Protected Areas and Beyond

-  Articles Leave a Comment

Authors Ruth DeFries, Krithi K. Karanth and Sajid Pareeth propose the designation of a ‘Zone of Interaction’ (ZOI) around reserves encompassing hydrologic, ecological and socioeconomic interactions between a reserve and the surrounding landscape, in their paper, “Interactions between protected areas and their surroundings in human-dominated tropical landscapes,” published in Biological Conservation in 2010.

There are 683 Reserves covering less than 5 per cent of total land area in India today. Most of these reserves are embedded in human-dominated landscapes. Land … Read More

Highway traffic, Nagarahole

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

A two-wheeler bringing fresh fish from Kerala into Karnataka. Traffic starts on the Mysore-Mananthavadi highway in Nagarahole national park at the stroke of dawn. Conservationists successfully closed the highway from 6pm to 6am. Despite the many obvious problems posed by roads through wildlife areas, more roads are being planned in Nagarahole (and through other protected areas of Karnataka), by the state government.

Read related case study of night time highway closure though Bandipur Tiger Reserve.… Read More

India Adopts a New Refined Protocol to Monitor Tigers

-  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

Will make India world leader in big cat monitoring, say scientists.

In a move welcomed widely by the conservation and scientific community, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has adopted new refined protocols for intensive annual monitoring of tiger source populations under ‘Phase IV’ of National Tiger Estimation. The new protocol is expected to lead to more robust estimates of population density, change in numbers over time and other crucial parameters such as survival and recruitment rates in key wild … Read More

A Note On India’s Protected Areas

-  Articles Leave a Comment

Here’s an interesting document from the Ministry of Environment & Forests (MoEF) which provides details on the Protected Area (PA) network of the country. While the figure of 668 PAs appears to be a large number, in reality these are small areas (just 4.9% of total geographic area) scattered across India’s landscape under severe pressure. Obviously, there needs to be a sufficiently large administrative infrastructure to protect and manage PAs. While the document has no details on this, here’s a … Read More

Tiger Roadkill, NH 212, Bandipur 2003

-  Photos, -  Picture of the Week Leave a Comment

This tiger was killed by a speeding vehicle on the Gundlupet – Sulthan Bathery road (NH 212) in 2003.

Two major National Highways pass through Bandipur Tiger Reserve – NH-67 (Gundlupet – Ooty Road) and NH 212 (Gundlupet – Sultan Batthery Road) – and both experience heavy traffic. The traffic on NH-67 is largely tourists plying from Karnataka to the hill station of Ooty in Tamil Nadu. While on NH 212 there is heavy passenger and truck traffic plying to … Read More

Proposal to Include Buffer Areas of Manas Under Field Director Control

-  News Leave a Comment

The Management Effectiveness Evaluation brought out by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has recommended that the buffer areas of the Manas Tiger Reserve under the control of Manas’ field director. Manas was notified as a tiger reserve in 2008, with 500 sq km as the core area and 2,337.10 sq km as buffer. Currently, the buffer areas are under the control of the Forest Chief of the Bodoland Territorial Council. The core … Read More

Eco-tourism Guidelines to Benefit Local Communities

-  News Leave a Comment

The Union Environment Ministry has proposed Eco-tourism guidelines that will end up empowering and benefitting the local communities. All tourist facilities within 5 kms of any protected area will be monitored by local communities going forward. The activities of tour operators and resorts will be monitored to ensure that no disturbance is caused to animals while taking visitors into the protected areas. Also, the State Governments will impose a conservation cess on all privately run tourist facilities. The rate of … Read More

Whose Forest Is It Anyway?

-  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

The Saxena Committee’s recipe for redressing historic injustices to forest dwellers will precipitate an ecological crisis write Praveen Bhargav and Shekar Dattatri.

While there has been a huge uproar over the auctioning of the 2G spectrum at throwaway prices to private corporations, a far more valuable asset of the nation, biodiversity, is to be handed over to thousands of Grama Sabhas for virtually unregulated and limitless exploitation. This is one of the key recommendations of the Saxena Committee, which was … Read More

Conservation Letters Study Identifies Wildlife Tourism Challenges

-  News Leave a Comment

A study by Krithi Karanth and others in Conservation Letters identifies challenges to wildlife because of burgeoning tourism. The main drive behind the increase is attributed to the rising affluent, middle class with money to spend on vacations. Increased revenue from tourism is still not benefiting individual parks, as it goes into a larger treasury. It also skips local communities, with the revenue ending largely in private hands. Other challenges include threats to unprotected adjoining lands, corridors as well as … Read More

Human – Elephant Conflict

-  Articles, -  Featured Article 2 Comments

In our densely populated subcontinent, elephants and people have had to increasingly share land and resources, leading to frequent and often fatal conflict. How can the government resolve this problem? Janaki Lenin and Raman Sukumar recently submitted a lengthy report on the issue. Here is a gist of the report.

A few facts about elephants in India:

  • Only 22 per cent of elephant habitat is found within our protected area network – the remaining elephant range lies outside, in places
Read More

Lessons from Voluntary Resettlement in the Western Ghats

-  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

K.Ullas Karanth and Krithi Karanth on the lessons learned from resettlement projects in three important protected areas in the Western Ghats — Nagarahole, Bhadra and Kudremukh.

Forests in the Western Ghats occur as fragmented strips within a larger landscape matrix of crops and tree plantations. Reserves in the Ghats cover only twelve per cent of total area and the average reserve size is 243 sq km; the fourteen legally protected areas in the Ghats cover a total of only 6400 … Read More

Eco-development in Periyar — an Objective Analysis

-  Articles, -  Featured Article Leave a Comment

The India Eco-Development Project (IEDP) in Periyar Tiger Reserve, Kerala, has often been cited as a ‘successful’ project overall. Two years after the completion of the project, Sanjay Gubbi, Matthew Linkie and Nigel Leader-Williams independently evaluated the IEDP around Periyar Tiger Reserve (PTR) in south India and its USD 6 million component. Conservation India (CI) summarises the paper that originally appeared in Environmental Conservation.

Preamble:

The Government of India has requested funding from the Global Environment Facility for a new … Read More